Member Login
Blog Categories
Follow Us

Measuring neck circumferences of children may be more accurate in determining weight problems

Posted on Jul 30, 2010 by Maggie LaBarbera

There is lots of talk this month about the accuracy of BMI calculations and kids.

A new study published in Pediatrics is suggesting that measuring a child's neck circumference could be a better tool for quickly assessing children's potential weight status.   After evaluating 1102 children, this study indicated that neck circumference correlated with age, BMI and waist circumference.

  • OptimalNeck Circumference cutoff indicative of high BMI in boys ranged from 28.5 to39.0 cm.
  • Corresponding values in girls ranged from 27.0 to 34.6cm.
We will have to keep our eye on this potential tool.

BMI has always had the limitation of not being able to differentiate between fat and muscle.  Because children are growing and height can be different for the same age children, that has to be accounted for when determining BMI significance.  This is why, kids have their BMI calculated and placed on a growth chart so it determines how their BMI score compares with other children of their age and provides a percentile.  Kids with a BMI percentile of greater than 85% (meaning their weight on the growth chart is higher than 85% of the kids their age in America) are considered overweight.

But once again, this is a tool, a guide but not definitive.  I think it is good that researchers are still evaluating other possible tools that may be easier and more accurate in helping determining children at risk.

I think what is most important is

how healthy is your child's diet

  • are they getting enough fruits and vegetables and fiber to help them develop properly and build strong immune systems
  • are they limiting or avoiding processed foods that can be loaded with chemicals that may affect their brain and personality
  • are they active every day
Being healthy is not only dependent upon weight.

Read more information on BMI

Use our BMI percentile tool and calculate your child's score





The photos displayed on this website were purchased legally from,, and All clipart displayed on this website is the exclusive property of